Many American citizens who choose to exercise their concealed carry rights consider wearing an ankle holster at one time or another. In some western areas of the country, the ankle holster method of carrying is modified a bit to include clipping a holster to the top of a "cowboy boot." This is where we get the term "boot gun." We will save time in the article below by only referring to this carry method as ankle holstering.
A good ankle holster can provide a comfortable and effective way to carry a small defensive gun on your person. It is important to buy a quality holster that will not allow the rig to chafe your ankle when you wear the holster for long periods of time. You should also be conscious of choosing pants that are thick enough and proved enough looseness in the leg area so that others cannot detect the print of your gun through the pants leg. This type of pants leg will also prove beneficial if it ever becomes necessary to pull the pants leg up to draw the gun.
Another important consideration is the type of handgun you plan to carry in your ankle holster. There are not many people who are large enough to wear a full-sized service pistol on their ankle without it becoming noticeable to others. A flat semi-automatic pistol that is small in size is one of the best options for ankle holster users. You may also be able to perfectly conceal a J-frame sized revolver using an ankle holster.
A shooter that carries a firearm on his or her person must be conscious of the dust and lint that can accumulate on their gun when using an ankle holster. This could result in a malfunction of your firearm. Of course, this is unacceptable if you ever find yourself in a position to depend on your firearm to protect your safety. You should clean your gun once a week if it is kept in an ankle holster. You should also use oil sparingly when cleaning your gun as oil is known to attract and hold dust and other small particles.
The ankle holster is no different than other methods of carrying your firearm in that there are drawbacks to using the holster. The most serious drawback is that the concealed firearm carrier must often stand on one leg for a moment while drawing their firearm from the ankle of the other leg. The alternative to this method is to kneel in place while reaching for the firearm. Neither of these positions is favorable to you if you must ward off a criminal attack.
I heard a first-hand account of how this problem can present real-life consequences recently while speaking with an Arkansas state investigator. The investigator explained to me that he was climbing over a fence at the residence of a suspect when the suspect exited the home with a gun in his hand.
The investigator said his first instinct was to reach for the firearm in his boot but the turned out to be as useless and inaccessible to him as it would have been if he had left the firearm back at the office. Fortunately for the investigator, a little diplomacy was enough to remedy the situation.
The truth of the matter is that ankle holsters are not designed for the rapid draw of a firearm. A good tip for someone using an ankle holster when carrying a gun for self-defense is to remain vigilant at all times. It is a good idea whenever possible to draw the firearm in anticipation of an attack and not once the attack has started.
You can pretend to kneel to tie your shoe if you need to obscure the move you make for your firearm. If the pistol is small enough, you can then palm it in your hand so that no one sees it. This will provide you with the opportunity to transfer the weapon to your coat pocket, the back pocket of your pants, or your waistband. The important thing to remember is that accessibility will always be an issue when you opt for an ankle holster.
The good news is that an ankle holster can still work for carrying a handgun used for self-defense. An ankle holster will work for some concealed carriers much better than it will for others. If you are considering an ankle holster for your concealed carry weapon, you should take a little time to practice drawing from the holster to determine if it is right for you. You should be fine if you remember to use a quality holster, make sure your gun is properly maintained, and practice defending yourself through the use of the holster.